Most who commented on my blogs didn't much care for the idea. And that's cool - it's what I expected.
But the negative comments really got me to thinking. What's so darn special about OUR industry that the business model used by most other industries couldn't possibly work for ours? And let's be honest, our industry isn't exactly setting the world on fire with the retention and success rates for our practitioners...
Just so's you know, I like being paid on contingency - always have. My first real job was waitressing and I loved the idea of working for tips. My last job before I went into real estate was as a "outside SERVICE" representative in the employee benefits field where I was paid a salary + bonuses for every client I SERVICED (hold that thought). I liked those bonuses, so I took on as many clients as they'd allow, to the point where I had twice as many as any other SERVICE rep. Loved it.
In that employee benefits job, there were sales reps and service reps. The sales reps did what you'd expect them to do - they lunched, schmoozed, networked, cold-called, warm-called, popped-by, mass-mailed, advertised, etc. We service reps managed the business the sales reps brought in - as soon as the ink was dry on the contracts, those clients belonged to us, and the sales rep moved on to the next prospect.
The system worked well. The salespeople made rain; the service people took care of the customer. We service reps didn't just work 9-5 - it was in our job description to accommodate our clients even if that meant doing onsite employee meetings at 3am for the night shift. We had our own window offices and secretaries and expense accounts. We flew on corporate jets with our clients. Many of us had advanced industry-specific licenses. We were professionals.
But we weren't salespeople by any definition of the term. We SERVICED the business the sales force brought in and were well-trained (and well-paid) to do it. We were respected by the salespeople and by our clients (well, most of the time!) and didn't consider ourselves glorified assistants. None of us (as I recall) had any desire to move into sales - we were perfectly happy and satisfied working our a$$es off to fulfill the promises made by the rainmakers.
So, when I claim that a salaried real estate office could work - this is the model I'm referring to. Natural salespeople do what they do best... and what they enjoy. Natural servicepeople do what they do best... and what they enjoy.
Getting business ... and taking great care of that gotten business are two very different skill sets. Both are valuable and necessary to a successful business, whatever that business may be. Yes, even the real estate industry!